Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province,
The hockey in the Vancouver Canucks-Dallas Stars playoff series will not be boring. This, evidently, is a vile canard perpetuated by media types and fans who don’t appreciate the finer points of tight-checking, low-scoring . . . ZZZZZZZZ . . . sorry, dozed off there for a moment just thinking about it.
Where were we? Ah yes . . . system-oriented, defence-first, technically precise, goal-free hockey.
Boring? It’s not boring. Alternatively entertaining, maybe. Excitementally challenged. Possibly. But boring? Hardly.
From the Ft. Worth Star Telegram,
"We are different this year," Stars forward Stu Barnes said. Of course, that is what they all said last season. Whether this is actually true is impossible to predict, and barely matters anyway. What they will ultimately be judged by is the foolproof "Did they finally win the first round for the first time since 2003?" barometer. I honestly do not know if they can.More
from Robert Tychkowski of the Edmonton Sun,
When the Stars moved to Dallas 13 years ago, knowing how tough it would be to make inroads in a non-traditional market, they wanted to do more than attract fans.
They wanted to grow them. So they began building and operating rinks in the area, projects that don’t make any money, but pay off with a steady stream of new players/fans.
“We run 15 rinks now,” said team president Jim Lites. “It’s hard and it takes a lot of work. I can’t tell you how many city council meetings in Texas I’ve attended, trying to get deals done with communities to build hockey rinks for amateur hockey programs. But that’s why this market can be sustained, because of the infrastructure in place. We’re a hockey town.”
from pegasus news,
Something special happened for the Stars this past week, and it revolves around the timeless concept of mensch. A mensch, also known in some circles as a stud, alpha-male and possibly even the shiz-natch, is that rare and elusive person that can take a team on his back and deliver the goods when the time calls for it. Not every team has a mensch—for example, the Colorado Avs—but every team needs one, especially if it has any designs on going deep into the playoffs….
This was precisely the moment that the Stars’ captain and resident mensch decided to take control of the game. In his first shift in the third period, Brendan Morrow decided that ass wasn’t going to kick itself, and started the Stars’ comeback first with physical play, then a goal, and then an assist.
read on... and who is your mensch?
from the Dallas Morning News,
Stephane Robidas’ recovery from a concussion he suffered last week has been slowed, and he did not skate Thursday or Friday.
“He feels all right, but he’s just tired,” Stars coach Dave Tippett said. “There’s no headache, but he’s just sleeping a lot, and that’s part of a by-product of the healing….”
“You don’t want to take any chances with your head, because I am going to get hit again,” Robidas said. “I may not get hit in the face in a fight, but the way I play, I will either hit someone or take a big hit. That’s just the way it is. And when I do that, I want to make sure I don’t have another relapse. They say the next concussion will come much easier, so you have to be careful. You have to make sure you are healthy.”
Mike Modano participated in an NHL tele-conference today…
Q. Your president was very upset that they didn’t acknowledge your record at Nashville. A couple of times Calgary didn’t acknowledge one of Wayne Gretzky’s records because of the rivalry, does it bother you as much as it bothered Jim Lites. And I wanted to ask you about Jordan Tootoo, is that something just the way the NHL has gone, and did you think you might get suspended because your stick came up and whacked him a little bit?
MIKE MODANO: Yeah, I think Jimmy was a little bit more worked up than I was on that thing. We’ve had guys who have come to Dallas and Minnesota and scored goals and hit milestones we didn’t recognize. I think the one that—Jimmie was upset because we recognized Mark Recchi when he scored 500 here in Dallas and we had a little thing on the JumboTron for him.
Every home team is different. I think it’s tough, you know, for a home team sometimes to kind of promote another player on another team. I think NHL fans are really diehard and they are loyal to their own team, so I think people there would have felt it as a slap in the face maybe or showing up their team or what.
As far as the Jordan Tootoo, he’s a player that you hate to play against but you love them when they are on your team. We have a guy, Steve Ott, who is a lot similar to Jordan Tootoo he’s a guy that wants to go out there, plays hard, plays the game on the edge. He’s an emotional guy, and he plays hard. You know, it doesn’t surprise me that he’s out there a lot when we’re out there just to try to disrupt our flow or get us possibly thinking about him more than possibly thinking about the game and the puck and making plays.
So, yeah, I mean, the whole incident was tough to see. Obviously the hit on me was clean but I think in the moment, he didn’t twist it around and I knew I had my stick coming at him and I didn’t want to—I just kind of held back a little bit on it. I didn’t want to—obviously I had him in a position where I went from behind and one hand on my stick, so I didn’t want to push that situation too far on myself.
from the Nashville Predators,
Monday afternoon, Nashville Predators general manager David Poile addressed members of the local media via a conference call to respond to two issues: 1) Comments about the Nashville organization made by Dallas Stars president Jim Lites in Monday’s Dallas Morning News & the five-game suspension to Predators forward Jordin Tootoo that the NHL announced Monday afternoon.
added Tuesday, 3/20 at 6:10am, from the Tennessean,
Perhaps he should take that up with the commissioner or probably he should contact the Predators directly,” Poile said. “That’s extremely unprofessional on Lites’ behalf. I can’t think for a second that we would ever do or say something like that about Dallas. It’s uncalled for and I’m sure we’ll take that up with the commissioner.’‘
The NHL took notice of the comments by Lites, according to league spokesman Frank Brown. He said Commissioner Gary Bettman had already contacted Lites.
“(Bettman) thought those comments were inappropriate and that was conveyed by the commissioner to the Stars,’’ Brown said.
Brown wouldn’t say if Lites will be subject to disciplinary action.
from the Dallas Morning News:
Nashville Predators management did a disservice to the game of hockey Saturday night by not informing the crowd of Mike Modano’s achievements, Stars president Jim Lites said Sunday.
And further, coach Barry Trotz’s comments praising Jordin Tootoo for showing calm when punching Stephane Robidas was “patently ridiculous,” according to Lites.
“Their owner, management, public relations people, coaching staff – I think they all failed the game,” Lites said. “It’s because of people like Mike Modano that they even have a team in Nashville. He has helped pioneer the game in the South, and for him to be treated like that in a milestone moment ... it’s just a horrible thing.”
“I understand it’s a competitive situation, but we’re also working together to sell the game,” Lites said. “They get more money from revenue sharing than any team in the league, they voted against the new schedule because they wanted to have an easier schedule for themselves. They take and take and take and take and never give back, and I’m sick of it.”
added 8:35am, via David Vest of the Arizona Republic,
It is also unfortunate that fans in Nashville could not see the big picture and/or are not hockey-savvy enough to appreciate what they witnessed.
Spectators inside the Gaylord Entertainment Center reportedly booed and mocked Modano after he scored his record-setting goal late in the third period of a nasty game the Predators won 3-2.
from Scott Morrison of the CBC,
Quite likely, Tootoo will receive a suspension of at least a few games and the league makes headlines again for all the wrong reasons, which again raises the question of whether harder, black-and-white penalties need to be in place for any kinds of blows to the head. Of course, had Tootoo and Robidas been actually fighting, he would have been applauded for the knockout.
And what about sticking up for star players getting hit, is that line between answering a clean or dirty check becoming a little blurred?
from the Dallas Morning News,
This wasn’t the way Mike Modano drew it up.
Modano scored two goals, Nos. 502 and 503 of his career, to break Joe Mullen’s record and become the greatest American-born goal-scorer in NHL history Saturday night….
On the other, the crowd of 17,113 took out its frustration for Tootoo getting penalized, booing Modano at the end of the third period and rumbling the “Modano’s a baby” chant on several occasions.
added 10:15am, Check out the tribute video (will open wmp video) the Dallas Stars produced for Modano…
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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